Nashville Billboard Project

I was one of 21 nationally picked artists to participate in The Billboard Project, hosted on April 2nd in Nashville, TN.

Excerpt from The Tennesean

By Chris Echegaray

Digital Billboard Art
The Billboard Art Project is taking over roadside digital LED billboards to turn them into free public art venues for 24 hours.  Those in-your-face and colorful canvasses that you see as you sit stuck in traffic are turned over to local and international artists for a little break from everyday advertising, larger-than-life art in glowing colors.  Catch a snippet in your car as you drive by, or pull over for a tailgate party with new friends as you join the fun of discovery and discussion.  You won’t know what is coming next as different artists explore this medium, with the electronic canvas morphing every 10 seconds.

David Morrison passed billboard after billboard during a drive to Virginia and wondered what it would be like to turn those roadside advertising panels into canvases featuring local art.

Today, Middle Tennessee motorists can see what that looks like, but only until midnight tonight.

The Billboard Art Project will display 1,440 images of art from 22 artists, including local talent, on four digital billboards. The 24-hour event began this morning.

The art can be seen at these locations:

• 2809 Gallatin Pike near Burchwood Avenue, under Brown’s Automotive and across from McDonald’s.

• 1274 Murfreesboro Pike near Briley Parkway.

• Dickerson Pike, south of Due West Avenue and just north of Mulberry Downs Circle.

• 3813 Nolensville Pike, under Precision Tune Auto Care, near the Windlands Shopping Center.

Nashville is the second city to have the Billboard Art Project, which Morrison originated in Richmond, Va.

Morrison, the project founder and curator, says the billboards are a good way to bring art to people who might not have the time or the money to visit art galleries.

“They may have never been exposed to some of this art,” Morrison, of Richmond, said. “Or it’s out of their cultural circle, but to put it there and see it, it’s free to all. It also gets people to look at the billboards differently, giving them art, philosophy, thoughtful images.”

Morrison wants to have the art project in cities that wouldn’t normally be considered centers of the art world. He said he wouldn’t do it in major metropolitan areas, including New York and Miami, because “there is more than enough art already there.”

“Why not do something like this in Scranton, Pa., St. Cloud, Minn., or Columbus, Ohio?” Morrison said.

Morrison, who owns a tile business, funds this project on his own, with the help of private donors. He hopes the project will evolve into a nonprofit organization. Right now, he rents the billboards from Lamar Advertising, which owns them.

Middle Tennessee artist Charles Clary of Murfreesboro will have his art on the billboards today.

“People feel intimidated in a gallery setting, not super comfortable, and this will be engaging people on their own turf,” Clary said. “Art is … not utilitarian. It’s more of an escape.”

Clary and other artists found out about the project by word of mouth, emails and social networking.

Below are the pieces picked for exhibition

  •  grandma001.jpg
  • grandma002.jpg
  • grandma003.jpg
  • grandma004.jpg
  • grandma005.jpg
  • worry.jpg
  • (click on image for closer view)

One Response to “Nashville Billboard Project”

  1. Congratulations on being selected. I wish you the best of luck. Hopefully you will be able to become a big star.

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